This year’s School of Biomedical Engineering & Imaging Sciences Postgraduate Research Symposium, for the first time held online, on 21 July, attracted up to 200 attendees.

The student-led event jointly organised by the School of Biomedical Engineering & Imaging Sciences at King’s College LondonCentre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Smart Medical Imaging and the Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Surgical & Interventional Engineering featured 34 students from across the School presenting insights into their latest biomedical engineering and imaging sciences research.

Professor Julia Schnabel, Director of the CDT in Medical Imaging, said: “As in previous years, students from our CDT made important contributions to the BMEIS PGR Symposium by showcasing their work, organising and leading on this exciting event. I am proud of their professionalism and commitment, which helped to make this online edition a success.“

Professor Sebastien Ourselin, Head of the School of Biomedical Engineering & Imaging Sciences, said this year’s symposium was a testament to the prolific and profound research at the postgraduate level.

“Congratulations to all students who presented and shared their impressive research,” he said.

“The Symposium provided an excellent opportunity to showcase the varied portfolio of multidisciplinary research carried out by postgraduate research students at the School.”

“Well done also to the student organisers for delivering an engaging programme with prestigious national and international keynote speakers and panellists.”

Held entirely online, the Symposium featured several student oral presentations, as well as poster sessions in break-out rooms that guests from the School could join into.

Sophie Morse, a CDT in Smart Medical Imaging student based at Imperial College London won the best poster pitch prize, which was voted on by the audience, for her 1-minute video entitled Drug Delivery to the Brain with Ultrasound and Microbubbles.

Sophie said: “The Symposium being virtual meant that I needed to think about how I could grab people’s attention while they are sitting in front of a screen. It’s the first time that I used this kind of communication platform and technique to present my research to an interdisciplinary audience and I am so pleased that people liked it!”

You can view the 3-minute version of Sophie’s award-winning pitch online:

The best oral presentation award was received by CDT in Smart Medical Imaging student James Bezer (Deformation of Tissues Using a Single Microbubble Exposed to Ultrasound), while Suzette Lust was given the best poster prize (Investigating the Effects of Flow Cell Interactions on Vascular Cell Extra-Cellular Matrix and the Consequences for Aortic Dilatation and Aneurysm in Bicuspid Aortic Valve disease).

Runners-up were David Leitão (Direct Saturation Control for Magnetization Transfer Imaging at 7T) and Elisa Roccia (3D T2 Mapping with Dictionary-Based Matching in Simultaneous PET/MR: a Preliminary Study in Prostate Cancer Patients) – both representing our CDT.

Two keynote speakers presented at the event: Professor Ramsey Badawi from the University of California, Davis gave a talk on his work on the EXPLORER Total Body PET Scanner and Dr Muyinatu Bell from John’s Hopkins University focused on Photoacoustic Imaging for Surgical and Interventional Guidance.

Dr Muyinatu Bell presenting at the 2020 BMEIS PGR Symposium about her pathway to professorship
Dr Muyinatu Bell presenting at the 2020 BMEIS PGR Symposium

Student organiser Mariana Da Silva from the CDT in Smart Medical Imaging said the committee worked hard to ensure a diverse line-up of speakers for the event.

“We wanted speakers who would appeal to the varied backgrounds of our audience and represent the different fields of research within the School.,” she said.

“We also took full advantage of the benefits of having a fully online symposium, which allowed us to have our two keynote speakers join all the way from the USA.”

The programme also included a panel discussion on Improving the Signal-to-Noise Ratio in Science Communication: Disseminating Reliable Science in the Era of Fake News, moderated by Dr Jorge Cardoso and featuring interventions by Dr Antonio de Marvao from the Royal Brompton Hospital and Dr Mahmoud Bukar Maina from Sussex Neuroscience.

Dr Jorge Cardoso, Dr Antonio de Marvao and Dr Mahmoud Bukar Maina at the 2020 BMEIS PGR Symposium
Dr Jorge Cardoso, Dr Antonio de Marvao and Dr Mahmoud Bukar Maina at the 2020 BMEIS PGR Symposium

Organising the event provided an important learning opportunity for members of the student committee, who rose to the challenge.

First year CDT in Smart Medical Imaging student and organising committee member Aidan Michaels added: “I learnt that consolidating ideas and having meaningful discussion brings about the best result. With constructive feedback, research and clear communication, we were able to deliver an event which we could all be proud of.”